Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanyan
Violin : S Varadarajan
Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh
Ghatam : Perikavu L Sudheer
01 sharaNAgata vatsala (varNam) – kadanakutUhalam – Calcutta Krishnamurthy
02 kari kaLabha mukham – sAvEri – Dikshitar
03 chalamElarA sAkEtarAma – mArgahindOLam – Thyagaraja ( S )
04 kaNDE kaNDE svAmiya bEDi koNDE – kannaDa – Purandara Dasa ( A,S )
05 marivErE dikkevarayya rAmA – Sanmukhapriya – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( A,N )
neraval @ ‘ (venkaTEsha nIvu) nannu brOvakayuNDuta nyAyamA’
06 viruttam ( kulam tarum selvam ) – mOhanam
nArAyaNa divya nAmam – mOhanam – Papanasam Sivan
07 RTP – kharaharapriya – chaturashra tripuTa x 2 , +1 eDuppu
pallavi line ‘ oru taram shivachidambaram enru chonnAlum pOdumE’
08 viruttam ( ADum mayilAy) – behAg
karpakAmbikai nI allavO – behAg – Papanasam Sivan
09 uyyAla lOkavayya – nIlAmbari – Thyagaraja
09 thillAna ( nAdru dhIm tanana tana dhiraNA) – gambhIravANi – T K Govinda Rao
10 mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja
Certain concert, you shouldn’t waste your time in dissecting and picking your choices of alapana, tanam or swaraprasthana. They are wholesomely good in few cases or every thing was good as in the case yesterday. One is left wanting for the choice of adjectives. I for one, think yesterday’s concert was one helluva affair.
But I still want to talk about a few for posterity. Its always good to go back to some of your concert experiences after a few years. This will be one such concert and hence for my own future use let me note a few.
The whole lift of the concert to me started with the swara prasthana of margahindolam. Outstanding stuff here between the lead singer and the ever following violinist. The long phrased, long lasted ending swaraprasthana was a treat, embellished by an equally awe inspiring return by Varadarajan. On the other hand, this increased the adrenaline levels of the percussionist , especially Venkatesh, and there was no holding him back after that. More on that later.
A short and beautiful ‘kannaDa’ alapana and a surprise selection of kriti was next. Probably a new addition to Sanjay’s repertoire and this could feature in a few concert this season. Another rounds of great swaras mostly pivoting around the ‘ri’ ( in fact he started the swaras at ‘ri’ kande kande ). Percussion by now was in exhilaration and Venkatesh was changing the mrudangam for every song.
Shanmukhapriya which followed next was the best of the evening and one of the best I’ve heard in many years. I dont remember listening to Sanjay singing shanmukhapriya any time in last 4-5 years. What scintillating alapana he sang and an equally grand return on violin. If this is not enough, there was an outstanding neraval too. Instead of the standard ‘sannutAnga shrI venkatEsha nIvu’ , he selected the next line ‘nannu brOvakayuNDuta nyAyamA’ adding ‘venkatEsha nIvu’ at the beginning. Tremendous impact. Very well done and detailed. Goose pimples ( I’m a sucker for grand neravals). There was no swaras. Nice viruttam in mOhana on ‘nArAyaNa’ on the EkAdashi day, before ‘nArAyaNa divyanAmam’ was apt and nice.
Kharaharapriya was the main. Majestic alapana fitting to the occasion. Largely the standard phrases with some classy ‘akaara’ extentions typical of him. Similar pattern and exploration from Varadarajan who seems to have taken a bit longer than usual. No complaints. For once, I thought ‘rAmA nI samanamevaru’ is in the offing, probably the alapana was directing me towards that. He started tanam, which was again was the next peak of the evening. Brilliant. Pallavi was in usual Aditalam with a familair pallavi line. He did a detailed pallavi neraval, and there was no trikalam in the typical sense. He then launched into an elaborate swaraprsthana in two speeds as in the case of the main item. There was no ragamalika swaras which was obvious by now.
By now the percussion was unbearable to the ears. Tani Avartanam was extremely loud and was the typical ‘beat the s..t out’ of the mrudangam style by Venkatesh with matching head movement to the fingers. Unlike me the audience seems to have liked the ‘visual treat’ if not the nadam. Perikavu L Sudheer, seeing him for the first time in Bangalore, probably was shaken to the roots by this exuberance was overwhelmed and did not attempt to match the leader. He succumbed after few strokes and returned it back to the main percussionist. Luckily, the whole tani avartanam lasted 7-8 minutes.
Another viruttam and a kriti from Papanasam Sivan in behag came post main, which otherwise had a neelambari kriti and gambheeravani thillana.
Apart from the top class concert presentation, I was also impressed with his selection of kritis today. The two viruttam’s that he sang and the kind of mix he provided. This will remain in memory for a long long time for sure.